"I expected it to taste greasy and salty;" writes Clay Risen, "instead it was dry and smoky, with a hint of meat."
First, you fry up several thick slabs of bacon. Keeping the pan on the fire, you remove the meat and pour in a few cups of bourbon–Patterson House uses Four Roses–and stir. Then you set the mix aside to cool. As the temperature drops, the fat congeals, creating a thick film on top of the liquor. Once it’s done, you cut a hole in the grease, pour out the liquid, et voila!
This is just one example of a technique known as ‘fat washing‘. Developed by cocktail maker Eben Freeman, it can be used with flavourful fats like browned butter or bacon grease. New York cocktail bar PDT is famous for its bacon-infused old fashioned.
Elsewhere: cocktail geeks wonder about the best way to use fish sauce in a drink.
Image credit: bhamsandwich on flickr